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Caligula's Horse

Progressive Metal

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Caligula's Horse The Tide, the Thief & River's End album cover
4.08 | 252 ratings | 12 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Gift to Afterthought (6:18)
2. Water's Edge (7:39)
3. Atlas (5:02)
4. Into the White (8:29)
5. Old Cracks in New Earth (6:31)
6. Dark Hair Down (6:04)
7. Thief (2:09)
8. All Is Quiet by the Wall (8:19)

Total Time 50:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Grey / lead vocals
- Sam Vallen / guitar, composer, production & mixing
- Zac Greensill / guitar
- Dave Couper / bass
- Geoff Irish / drums

- Stefanie Bernard / clarinet (2,4)
- Holly Terrens / flute (4)
- Michelle Williams / violin (2)
- Natasha Ivanovic / violin (5)
- Sean Thomas / electric piano (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Kelly Meyer

CD Welkin Records ‎- WELKIN003 (2013, Australia)
CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMSECD 484 (2017, Europe)

Thanks to Andy Webb for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CALIGULA'S HORSE The Tide, the Thief & River's End ratings distribution

(252 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CALIGULA'S HORSE The Tide, the Thief & River's End reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
4 stars The Aussie prog scene continues to impress me with its sheer intensity, creativity, and attitude. Prog metal band Caligula's Horse is no different, and itself showcases some great concepts and ideas. Caligula's Horse is no ordinary prog metal band, as they utilize tech metal structures and riffing styles, but somehow they come off as softer than most metal. It's actually a puzzle as to how they pull this off so well, as the result is technical and a little djenty, but melodic and atmospheric, too.

These guys know how to play really, really, well, too. Geoff Irish, the drummer, is a beast of a player, and has masterful control of the bass pedals. I'm also impressed by both Sam Vallen and Zac Greensill on guitars, as we get great solos and also djenty chugging rhythm guitars that hit hard and feel so satisfying for some reason. I think part of this may be because of Dave Couper on bass and his awesome ability to fill and complete the sound of the band.

As for vocals, Jim Grey is one of the best, in my opinion. He may sound a little reminiscent of Maynard James Keenan, but only a little. He doesn't sound like anyone else. His voice is powerful and incredibly melodious, and he seems to sing with little or no effort. He really is a special talent, and I especially enjoy his other band Arcane (due to release a monster of an album in 2014).

This album has many twists and turns that I find rather refreshing. One moment the band will be jamming pretty hard, but the next they will be playing some delicate flute or doing a little bit of guitar noodling. I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the guitar noodling, such as on "Old Cracks in New Earth". I have to say that this is the one element that has caused me to lose a bit of connection with the album. On the other hand, I find this album superior to their debut album, especially in the riff composition and their melodies. "Atlas" is definitely my favorite track, but "A Gift to Afterthought", "Water's Edge", "Dark Hair Down", and "All is Quiet by the Wall" are all superb tracks that have some mind-blowing moments.

I do feel like I'm still waiting for Caligula's Horse to create their masterpiece. They have all the elements and they craft amazing music, but I'm still waiting to feel a complete connection with the lyrics and music. That said, Caligula's Horse is an excellent representative of the Aussie prog scene. I really hope people start paying more attention.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars CALIGULA'S HORSE are a Prog-Metal band out of Australia and this is their second release from 2013. They remind me of fellow Australians ARCANE with the way they contrast the heaviness with the mellow and also both bands have very emotive vocals. This is a concept album about isolation, exodus and the human spirit overcoming insurmountable odds.

"A Gift To Afterthought" opens with guitar that reminds me of IRON MAIDEN but then it turns heavy before that guitar line returns along with vocals and drums. Man these guys can change the tempo and mood so quickly and often over the course of a song. "Water's Edge" is a really enjoyable tune with it's laid back sound with vocals. Double tracked vocals before 4 minutes with acoustic guitar in this feel good section. Then it all hits the fan 5 1/2 minutes in without vocals at first with some killer guitar over top. It stays heavy to the end.

"Atlas" has a relaxed intro then it's the drum show as it all turns powerful with the vocals in tow. Contrasts continue. An okay tune. "Into The White" opens with piano before reserved vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and a beat take over. It's building 2 1/2 minutes in but not for long as a calm arrives as contrasts continue. I really like the pastoral sound after 5 minutes then it's heavy again a minute later.

"Old Cracks In New Earth" is intense to start, complex and heavy. It mellows out before 3 minutes then it's building after 5 minutes as the heaviness returns. "Dark Hair Down" is heavy with riffs to start, love the guitar solo that comes out of that. A calm follows before it kicks back in with vocals. Another calm but it's brief. A guitar solo lights it up around 4 1/2 minutes then back to the heaviness. Great ending to this one.

"Thief" is a short ballad-like tune with fragile vocals, atmosphere and acoustic guitar leading the way. "All Is Quiet By The Wall" has this heavy duty intro with some ripping guitar before we get a calm with reserved vocals. It picks up and the vocals continue only more passionate here. Excellent instrumental section 4 minutes in as they are shredding it up. This section ends with a scream but it continues heavy until another calm arrives as contrasts continue.

This just hasn't clicked with me but the instrumental work is outstanding.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Tide, The Thief & River's End" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Australian progressive rock/metal act Caligula's Horse. The album was released by Australian label Welkin Records in October 2013. Itīs the successor to "Moments from Ephemeral City" from April 2011 although the two full-length studio albums are bridged by the "Colossus" EP from September 2011. The quintet lineup who recorded the debut album and the "Colossus" EP is intact.

Stylistically the material on "The Tide, The Thief & River's End" is a continuation of but also a developed and more mature version of the progressive/alternative rock/metal of the two preceding releases. Caligula's Horse are a technically skilled unit fully capable of delivering relatively sharp and hard edged metal riffs and rhythms, challenging instrumental sections, and progressive song structures, but also more subtle, emotional, and organic sounding progressive/alternative rock. Sometimes I think Iīm listening to a combination of A Perfect Circle and Dream Theater, but fortunately Caligula's Horse are much more than just a copy of those artists. They create some very emotional and intricate music, which is highly memorable and melodic (listen to the big hook closing "Into the White"), while still not being easily accessible vers/chorus pop/rock.

The basis of the music is guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, but the vocal part of the music is quite intricate with both harmonies and choirs being an important feature of the music. In addition to that some parts of the album features guest performances on flute, violin, clarinet, and piano. "The Tide, The Thief & River's End" is as a result a very dynamic release. The dominant mood is melancholy, but Caligula's Horse still manage to incorporate uplifting moments, so this is not a particularly dark release. Itīs cleverly composed and even though itīs pretty accessible, itīs complex enough to challenge the listener, both with the performances, but also with the dynamic shifts and the composition style.

"The Tide, The Thief & River's End" is produced by guitarist (and main composer) Sam Vallen, and Vallen has crafted a sharp, powerful, and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly. Upon conclusion "The Tide, The Thief & River's End" is a strong sophomore full-length studio album by Caligula's Horse. Theyīve moved forward while still holding on to what made them great on the previous releases. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Latest members reviews

5 stars THE TIDE, THE THIEF & RIVER'S END is a dark, melancholic, and ultimately excellent sophomore album from Australia's best prog band - Caligula's Horse. This is an album full of heavy riffs, soaring vocals and tight songwriting. Among the band's 4 albums thus far, this one represents quite a unique ... (read more)

Report this review (#2023791) | Posted by ElliotYork | Monday, September 10, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm having no luck at retrieving my former Cylli Kat account. So, I'm posting a few of my old reviews, Hope this is okay with everyone. Originally posted 2014-12-23 This will be my fourth attempt to post a bit of a review of The Tide, the Thief & River's End. (The site was having some issues wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1999157) | Posted by Cylli Kat (0fficial) | Thursday, August 23, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This will be my fourth attempt to post a bit of a review of The Tide, the Thief & River's End. (The site was having some issues with accepting my posts previously) I LOVE this album. Staring with the opening line of "Here and now, it ends..." which launches into A Gift To Afterthought all the way th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1327647) | Posted by Cylli Kat | Tuesday, December 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I've rekindled recently interest in typical prog metal, because of the new bands out there that, while not radically changing the formula, subtly mix up the ingredients and adding a new layer. Well this Horse is why I stop at the boundary of prog metal and noisy American-style alternative and ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#1124052) | Posted by Progrussia | Wednesday, January 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars CHorse's 2nd album rides what some are calling the new wave of progressive metal, and it is riding it somewhere near the top, ready to drop in on the unsuspecting masses of mediocre prog metal. CHorse blend their influences to create a unique sound, which probably has a bit more development in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1093969) | Posted by praj912 | Saturday, December 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Caligula's Horse has crafted songs that are so alive and so powerful that I get tears in my eyes. Their music makes me do more than just listen, I'm feeling it, I'm living it. What impresses me the most is how Caligula's Horse has managed to compose unexpected and modern music with plenty o ... (read more)

Report this review (#1078950) | Posted by Eldrid | Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After their awesome debut, CH return to blow our minds! Not exactly classified under Prog Metal IMHO, since you can sense more tech structures on the guitar and alternative vocal lines, but ok. Anyway, this is a great release for this year. First of all there is an extraordinary guitar work on ... (read more)

Report this review (#1074045) | Posted by Sophocles | Friday, November 8, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Caligula's Horse ' The Tide, The Thief and River's End The progressive music scene is ever changing, as is the inherent nature of the style. As an ideal, musicians strive to look forward. Progressive music will always be a genre that artists aspire to add to, whether crossing genre styles, te ... (read more)

Report this review (#1049756) | Posted by Ginja Ninja | Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well here it is, one of the most eagerly awaited albums for these ears in quite some time. I have been quite vocal in my support of this band since their debut release 'Moments from Ephemeral City' and I guess the big question has been would their follow album compete or better their previous slab ... (read more)

Report this review (#1049144) | Posted by Dougie of Anubis | Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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